Thursday, October 20, 2016

Next Govt Should Consider Bad Roads, Agriculture In Northern Region –GDCA Boss

The Executive Secretary of Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), Alhaji Abdel-Rahman Osman, has suggested that the next government after Ghana’s December 7 polls should seriously consider investments in roads construction and agriculture development in the Northern Region.

He said farmers and communities in the region had become poorer because of the dwindling opportunities in improving their lives through agriculture. “If you look at this country, more than 60% of people have their earnings through agriculture. But this, we’re not exploiting enough. 

“In the 70s, we used to have rice farming with large acreages....we used to have helicopters which we used to control weeds on the farms. But today, you can’t talk about that. We have gone back several steps”, he added. 

Alhaji Osman also observed that, many of the roads in the region were unmotorable whereas some communities were almost inaccessible particularly for vehicle users. Poor roads network, he said, led to high cost of food production as well as increase in prices of food stuffs after harvesting.

Yendi-Bimbilla Road
“In order to cut down the cost of food production in the area, good or motorable roads play a key role. For this reason, I personally think that the next government after December 7 should consider constructing major roads that link farming communities”, Alhaji Osman said these in an interview with Savannahnews at the 32nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of GDCA at Dalun in the Kumbungu District of the Northern Region.

The AGM of GDCA serves as a platform for accounting for its stewardship to important stakeholders in order that they are informed and also provide feedback on the work of the organisation. 

Through the AGM, GDCA maintains its legitimacy among its various stakeholders and to continuously count on their support. Thus, the AGM is often held to report to stakeholders what happened in the previous year.

GDCA is one of the biggest non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the Northern Region. Over the last three decades, it has given birth to other organisations such as Community Life Improvement Programme (CLIP), School for Life (SfL), Youth Empowerment for Life (YEfL), Simli Pong, Dalun Simli Centre, Simli Radio and Sang Community Radio.

Together with these subsidiary NGOs, GDCA operates in nearly all the 26 districts in the Northern Region. It has, through its Danish partners and other donors, invested millions of dollars over the years in education, food and water security, environment and climate change resilience as well as capacity building in local governance. 

In his report to the AGM, Chairman of GDCA, Naa Professor Abubakr Al-hassan, enumerated a number of programmes and projects that were implemented in 2015 and attained some significant results.

Citing the Empowerment for Life (EfL) programme as one of the few programmes that brought some good results, he said the EfL targeted and supported 300 community based organisations and trained them to clearly define their purpose, methods of organisation and internal functioning. 

Naa Prof. Al-hassan also added that, a total of 90 Village Savings and Loans Associations were operational as at the end of the reporting period. “With a total membership of 2,700, VSLAs have been able to mobilise more than GH¢100,000 from among their members to enhance access to finances”, he noted.

Another programme he highlighted its achievement was the SfL complementary basic education (CBE) programme which was implemented in nine districts. “In all SfL has run more than 500 classes with total enrolment of more than 12,000 learners during the period under review.

“The CBE Alliance led by SfL has brought about policy change, notably the approval of the CBE policy by government, and brought together education stakeholders in the three regions of Northern Ghana to reflect on issues affecting quality education and take steps to improve upon them”, he said.   

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